might be one of the most emotional movies of the year, but it also is
one of the truest when it comes to how we process emotions in extreme
Lewis MacDougall stars as Conor – a young boy struggling each day
with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) dire struggle with cancer.
While she attempts to do everything possible to make his days brighter,
young Conor is taking on adult responsibilities like running the house,
becoming more isolated from his classmates at school and suffers with
nightmares each night at 12:07 AM.
One night, a massive yew tree in the field outside his bedroom window
comes to life, and this monster (voice by Liam Neeson) informs Conor he
has arrived to tell him three stories, then, the boy must reveal his
It takes some time to understand A Monster Calls,
but this gives the audience a chance to ruminate on each story and
comprehend the complexity of being an adult, especially when you
aren’t one and forced to become one in dire circumstances.
Writer Patrick Ness (who also wrote the children’s novel upon
which this is based) goes deep as we realize each story from The
Monster has more than one interpretation depending on the
listener’s point of view or belief about good and evil or ends
justifying the means.
However, the biggest revelation is one that might seem obvious, but
shocks the audience because we might not realize how much Conor has
grown as a mature young man to have the strength to face his true
This a movie that could have chopped some of the fat to be tighter and
better focused on the main plot line, but the performances from
MacDougall, Jones and Neeson more than make up for it.
A Monster Calls is rated PG-13 for
thematic content and some scary images.